By David M. Greenwald
Woodland, CA – It was an announcement that created questions and some guarded optimism as health officials announced Thursday that Americans who are fully vaccinated could stop wearing masks in most situations.
That has drawn a range of questions—about how to enforce a policy where people who are vaccinated do not have to mask up, while those not vaccinated will still be required to do so.
Not to mention the problem that people who are not vaccinated are more likely to resist or oppose mask requirements in the first place.
The NY Times noted as well that most of the states that continue mask requirements were led by Democratic governors, with most Republican governors having already lifted mask mandates anyway.
In Yolo County, that apparently means that face coverings, at least for the time being, will still be required.
In a release Friday, the county explained that there were changes to recommendations for fully vaccinated people, “indicating that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most settings,” however, “these recommendations do not go in effect locally unless CDPH amends its current face covering mandate.”
“Residents of and visitors to Yolo County are required to follow the CDPH guidance for face coverings,” Jenny Tan, Yolo County Public Information Officer said in a statement on Friday.
The current CDPH guidance requires that vaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors and when attending crowded outdoor events or other similar settings.
In addition, unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a face covering outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, as well as indoors. There are a few exceptions for those who are vaccinated when visiting indoors with others who are fully vaccinated or low risk individuals.
“The updated CDC recommendations do not change anything on the ground in Yolo County,” said Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “Yolo County follows CDPH’s masking order, which has not been updated. Unless and until CDPH changes its masking guidance, fully vaccinated persons still need to wear masks indoors in California, including in Yolo County.”
People with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease and the use of face coverings, combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, will help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Residents are recommended to get vaccinated as soon as possible, especially now that residents 12 and older are eligible in Yolo County. Current data show that the COVID-19 vaccines protect residents from circulating strains, including variants, significantly reducing the chance of getting severely ill or dying from COVID-19. All of the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective and are free for all residents. The more people who are vaccinated, the harder it is for COVID-19 to spread.
To add to the confusion, the governor issued a strong statement to a Los Angeles reporter that masks will be required “only in those settings that are indoor, only in those massively large settings where people from around the world, not just around the country, are convening and where people are mixing in real dense spaces.”
However, a day later he seemed to back off those comments.
“We will be updating our mask guidelines—outdoor masking—if we reach that threshold where we hope to be” by June 15, Newsom said. “In fact, we’ll be eliminating those mandates. There will be guidelines and recommendations.”
Bottom line is that, for now, there will be no changes in Yolo County, but that could change in the next month.
—David M. Greenwald reporting
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